HALFA (Dec. 16)
Israel’s first submarine, manned by an all-Israel crew trained in England, was welcomed here today with an ear-splitting symphony of harbor sirens, naval gun salvoes and roaring Super Mystere jet fighters.
The Tanin sailed into home port here after a two-week cruise from a British submarine base at Portsmouth where in October 1958, the former British submersible, HMS Springer, was re-named the Tanin and turned over to Israel. The undersea craft was one of two such vessels sold by Britain to Israel in a major turning point in Anglo-Israel relations.
Escorted by torpedo boats, the Tanin passed between decorated destroyers and was tied to the quay where thousands of excited Israelis were waiting. The dignitaries included Chief of Staff Chaim Laskov; Naval Commander Shmuel Tankus; Mrs. Golda Meir, Foreign Minister; Minister of Education Zalman Aranne; members of Knesset, Israel’s Parliament; Defense Ministry officials, members of the diplomatic corps and others.
Prime Minister Designate David Ben-Gurion, in a letter to Commander Tankus from his home where he is immured with a cold, expressed his regrets at his inability to be present. Mr. Ben-Gurion added that “Israel’s possessing and manning ‘the third dimension’ weapon for its security is a great cornerstone in Israel’s military strengthening.”
After the Tanin was berthed, its commander, Lt. Joseph Dror, himself a kibbutz member, saluted Commander Tankus who placed on Lt. Dror’s Jacket a special submarine emblem. Lt Dror later presented his officers with the same emblem and they in turn presented it to the other members of the crew. Army bands added to the welcome.
Israel’s second submarine, the Rahav, is expected here in a few months after its crew completes training in British bases.